Debt for gas supplies reduced in most Russian regions in 2020
- Leaders in debt reduction include the Moscow, Ulyanovsk and Volgograd Regions, the Republic of Tatarstan, and the Astrakhan Region.
- Heat suppliers are increasing the level of their payments and reducing their debt.
- At the same time, debt remains a pressing issue in the development of the domestic gas market.
The Gazprom Board of Directors took note of the information on improving the payment discipline with regard to domestic gas supplies, as well as on the measures being taken to settle the debt for the gas supplied, including the interaction with government authorities to perfect the current legislation that regulates the procedure of paying for gas.
It was highlighted that Gazprom is fulfilling its obligations on providing reliable and timely gas supplies to its consumers. At the same time, the overdue consumer debt for gas supplies remains a pressing issue in the development of the domestic gas market. The Company is making systematic efforts to settle the issue of non-payment.
In 2019, the overdue debt was reduced to RUB 174.3 billion. The debt spiked in the first half of 2020 amid the restrictions imposed to fight the spread of the coronavirus, but the situation stabilized in the second half of the year. At the end of 2020, the overdue debt totaled RUB 178.4 billion, an increase of 2.3 per cent from the previous year. Nevertheless, Gazprom followed the decision made by the Russian Government and did not put restrictions on gas supplies as a disciplinary action against the owners and tenants of residential properties in the period from April through December.
One of the key trends of 2020 was the growing number of constituent entities of the Russian Federation that managed to lower their debt. This number rose from 34 to 49, and the leaders in debt reduction included the Moscow, Ulyanovsk and Volgograd Regions, the Republic of Tatarstan, and the Astrakhan Region.
Heat suppliers continue increasing the level of their payments and reducing their debt. Thanks to the responsible efforts made by regional authorities in cooperation with this category of consumers, heat suppliers in St. Petersburg and in the Leningrad and Kaliningrad Regions have practically no debt owed for gas.
The Company is implementing a set of measures to improve the payment discipline among consumers. As a result of legal claims and cooperation with law enforcement and supervisory authorities, a total of RUB 117.1 billion was collected last year. Another RUB 8.7 billion was paid to Gazprom under the debt repayment schedules signed with 30 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. In the course of collaboration with regional administrations, subsidies in the amount of RUB 37.4 billion were allocated in 2020 to cover lost revenues for heat suppliers. The Company continues to take stock of its subscriber bases, including those in the North Caucasus Federal District, and to correct inaccuracies in the Federal Information Address System.
Consistent development of the online digital service that allows consumers to pay for gas remotely in a quick and convenient manner is also yielding good results. The user base of the Subscriber Account service grew by 24 per cent to 4.1 million people in 2020. The amount of payments collected last year was RUB 6.5 billion, an improvement of 31 per cent against 2019.
In addition, the Company is taking part in streamlining the current legislation regarding gas supplies in conjunction with relevant ministries and agencies.
The Management Committee was tasked with continuing the work on settling the receivables for the gas supplied, improving the gas consumption discipline, and interacting with government authorities to perfect the current legislation of the Russian Federation that regulates the procedure of paying for gas.